The clash of media, politics, and sexual science

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Given the recent focus on child sexual abuse (CSA), with significant implications for public policy and therapy, a scientifically valid understanding of CSA is vital. Because most prior reviews of the effects of CSA have been qualitative and based primarily on biased samples, we focused instead on nonclinical samples and the use of quantitative methods.

Basic assumptions about CSA--that it causes intense harm pervasively regardless of gender-- were found to be unsupported. Nine months after publication in Psychological Bulletin, our analysis of the college student data came under intense attack by the radical right with assistance from traumatologists associated with the left. This controversy recently culminated with the U.S. House of Representatives condemning the article in a 355-0 vote. We will briefly summarize the methods and findings of our analyses, then focus on subsequent events. Time will be available for attendees to discuss sexual science, the media, and politics.

source: Article 'The Clash of Media, Politics, and Sexual Science: An examination of the controversy surrounding the Psychological Bulletin meta-analysis on the assumed properties of child sexual abuse' by Bruce Rind, Ph.D., Philip Tromovitch, M.S., Robert Bauserman, Ph.D.; www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/ 99118_rbt_defense_nov99.htm; Talk presented at the 1999 Joint Annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) (St. Louis, Missouri); 6 November 1999